Even in the time of Confucius and Socrates, the illusion of arrogance was common! Dealing with arrogant people is a common problem these days; Those who consider themselves Allameh Dehr or think that whatever others say is in confirmation of what they say. Today, thanks to the Internet, we can quickly analyze and conclude any data, regardless of its accuracy or inaccuracy. This has increased the incidence of cognitive errors. In this article, we introduce 12 of the most common cognitive errors that have a direct impact on our daily decisions.
What is a cognitive error?
Cognitive error refers to systematic error in the thought process. Cognitive errors are usually rooted in exploratory inference, which is a kind of mental shortcut. Discovery deprives us of the opportunity to think more and to measure effectively. Instant discovery is the source of many cognitive errors. In this article, we will introduce 12 of the most common ones.
The most common cognitive errors
1. Dunning-Krueger effect
The Dunning-Kruger Effect refers to a situation in which people overestimate their knowledge and abilities. Informed and knowledgeable people are usually honest about their ignorance and are humble. These people usually do not comment on various topics with confidence. They do so not out of lack of knowledge, but knowing that their knowledge is limited; In other words, the more fruitful the tree, the more fallen!
On the other hand, when we do not have enough knowledge about a subject, it seems simple; So, assuming the issue is trivial, we think it is easy for us to understand, and we comment on it with confidence.
2. Confirmatory bias
You need to be constantly on the lookout for confirmation bias. We all like to have others confirm our knowledge and beliefs. Similarly, when researching and evaluating, we look for sources that support our belief. For this reason, if there is more than one side, you should consciously consider both sides of the issue. You should know that we are cognitively lazy. We do not like to change the structure of our knowledge and way of thinking.
In your opinion, when you get a low grade or a poor job evaluation, it is the fault of the teacher and the principal, but is a good grade and job encouragement the result of your own efforts? If so, congratulations; You have the cognitive error of self-serving. We like to attribute success and positive results to ourselves, but we see others or external factors as the root of our failure and negative results.
4. The curse of awareness and backwardness
Many of us, when we understand a concept or add to our knowledge, forget that we did not have such knowledge in the past. Based on this, we think others know everything we know! This is the curse of consciousness and knowledge.
Backward bias (Hindsight Bias) is also somehow rooted in knowledge. When we hear about a specific event and its related data, we assume that its occurrence has been predictable from the beginning: I should have known it would happen!
5. Cognitive error of optimism or pessimism
Its name is telling enough. When we are happy and the situation is right for us, we are very optimistic in estimating the positive results. When things go awry and we are upset, we look at things in a negative light. In both cases there is a complete digestive tract.
6. Cost wasted
Many of us believe that we should be rewarded for every contribution (money, effort or other things); But this is not always true! Sometimes we get nothing. The lost cost (Sunk Cost) is something lost and can no longer be recouped. It makes us feel bad. To deal with this unpleasant feeling, we irrationally thought of retreating; But as we have said, the cost is wasted; It can no longer be taken back. Gamblers have experienced this situation a lot.
The error of negativity is not unlike the error of pessimism, but it has a subtle and important difference. This cognitive error, like the lost cost error, is rooted in our aversion to failure. We all love to win, but more than that, we hate losing! So when making decisions, we usually think of outputs (positive or negative). This error occurs when we value the impact of negative outcomes more than positive outcomes.
You may have heard a lot that something is doomed to destruction. Socrates had repeated this many times about writing! Declinism makes us see the future darker than the past and declining, regardless of the current situation.
It is very common for us Iranians to talk about the good old days and to regret the future. Of course, people in other parts of the world have a similar tendency, especially in old age. This cognitive error may be rooted in our reluctance to change. We do not like the unknown. It is easier to come to terms with the world we know. When things change, we have to change the way we think about them; Because, as we said, we are cognitively lazy and resist changing our mindset.
9. Return error
When the belief in belief becomes stronger even after challenging it, a backfire effect occurs. This error and the collapse error may have one thing in common: resistance to change. Retraction error is not unlike negativeism in terms of worry about failure. We do not want our beliefs to be challenged or rejected; Because we consider it a kind of failure. So with more insistence, we emphasize the correctness of our beliefs!
10. Basic labeling error
The Fundamental Attribution Error is somewhat similar to the self-serving error, but the culprit changes. We attribute our failures to underlying factors (self-serving), but we attribute the mistakes and failures of others to their personality traits.
This error may rely on us The solution is straightforward (Which is a cognitive error in itself) take root. A common example of this error is judging the driving of others, especially women:
You are moving behind a car. The car in front is constantly speeding up and down. Trying to overtake such a reckless driver, you find out that the driver is a woman. You quickly tag: she is a woman, her driving can not be better than this! What you probably do not know is that in that woman’s car, three children are arguing with each other. That lady is also a nuisance; Because he has not been able to leave his job at the usual time and is now struggling to get the kids to class on time. If we were that woman, we would know the reason for our bad driving; But now that the other leg is involved, we consider ourselves the reason for such driving!
۱۱. Intragroup bias
The error of self-serving and labeling causes us to always take our side. Similarly, the error of In-Group Bias causes us to unfairly side with those we see as one and the same. You may think you are fair and wrong, but we all make this mistake; This is our nature. In terms of biological evolution, this bias is an advantage; Because it helps support those who are like us. This is in line with the importance of the family and the survival of the generation.
۱۲. Cognitive error Barnom’s effect
To better understand the Barnum Effect or Forer, I reiterate that we humans love our familiar, ever-present world. In the unknown world, we have no pattern to follow and we have to think harder and harder to understand new data. When we encounter a lack of information in this process, we use that part of our knowledge to solve the problem that makes the situation logical. In other words, we use our knowledge to confirm what we want; The way our minds use to seal affirmation of existing beliefs. This is how we analyze vague data in a way that we like.
Based on our self-centered nature (and desire for simple patterns), when analyzing vague information, we preserve what is meaningful to us and discard things that do not fit our logic. Regardless of the ambiguity, we better analyze data that is consistent with our assumptions.
Barnum’s work means that one likes to accept that vague and general personality descriptions apply especially to him. One does not realize that this data can be true of anyone. A clear example of the effect of this cognitive error is the desire to accept the general and vague professions of fortune tellers; It is as if they are talking about us specifically.
Exploratory conclusions are generally a good thing and prevent decision-making fatigue; But some discoveries impair our ability to judge. Do not forget that we make many decisions every day, some of which are more important. Make sure important decisions are not affected by cognitive errors.
How do you do that? Are you aware of common cognitive errors at all? How do you become aware of them and deal with them? What experience do you have with the impact of cognitive errors on your decisions?